The Scout Report for Science & Engineering - July 7, 1999

July 7, 1999

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The target audience of the new Scout Report for Science & Engineering is faculty, students, staff, and librarians in the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Each biweekly issue offers a selective collection of Internet resources covering topics in the sciences, and related fields such as math and engineering, that have been chosen by librarians and content specialists in the given field of study.

The Scout Report for Science & Engineering is also provided via email once every two weeks. Subscription information is included at the bottom of each issue.

In This Issue


Learning Resources

General Interest

Current Awareness

New Data

In The News


Next Linear Collider
The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, in collaboration with European and Japanese scientists, provides information about the Next Linear Collider (NLC) project. This project is expected to "answer fundamental questions about the behavior of matter and the origins of the Universe." To learn more about the NLC, visitors can investigate the following sections: Collaboration, Detectors, Components, Test Facilities, Concepts, and NLC Technical. Additional links containing information on high-energy physics are also included at the site. [JJS]
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Conservation Ecology: Vol 3, Issue 1
The new issue (Vol 3, Issue 1) of the prestigious electronic journal Conservation Ecology (described in the February 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) is now available online, with a special feature on adaptive management. Feature articles include "Adaptive Management: Scientifically Sound, Socially Challenged?" by Barry Johnson, "Adaptive Management of the Water Cycle on the Urban Fringe: Three Australian Case Studies" by Alistair Gilmour et al., and several others. In addition, research articles range across topics such as Salvage Logging, Commonness and Rareness, Extinction Risk, and Fire Management. [LXP]
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Oceanography at UEA
Provided by the University of East Anglia or Norwich, England, the Oceanography at UEA Website includes a wealth of information on research projects in the field of oceanography. Physical oceanographers from the School of Mathematics, the School of Environmental Sciences, and the Climate Research Unit are involved in these projects, which include the FRAM project, the OCCAM project, the WOCE cruise A23, and the Greenland Sea Tracer Experiment. Each project is described briefly, in some cases with links to research results, summarized data, or maps of fieldwork areas. The site is an excellent resource for other researchers of oceanography. [JJS]
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Silva Fennica Online
METLA: Finnish Forest Research Institute
METLA, the Finnish Forest Research Institute, has placed online the journal Silva Fennica, covering original, peer-reviewed research articles, review articles, research notes, discussion papers, book reviews, and information related to forest science. Topics mostly pertain to Finland, but the journal targets international participation and readership. Full content of Silva Fennica is available for free (registration required) through December 1999, and a search option provides access to articles since 1994. For further information on research projects carried out by METLA, see their homepage. [LXP]
[Back to Contents] Alerting Service
Article Alerts:
Database Alerts:, free after required registration, has launched a new alerting service. By signing up at the URLs given above, users will be notified as new journal articles or databases become available within their specified fields of chemistry. contains a wealth of resources in all areas of chemistry. This is a great resource for researchers wanting to stay at the cusp of chemistry advances. [JJS]
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New York Botanical Garden: Newly Online Resources
Catalog of North American Bryophytes
Catalog of North American Gymnosperms
Catalog of Costa Rican Fungi
Catalog of NewWorld Macrofungi
Ericaceae of Ecuador
The New York Botanical Garden is in the process of cataloging its numerous specimens and has recently placed online several searchable databases. Search options allow users to search for specific taxa, and typical returns provide brief information (some hyperlinked) including Name (scientific), Location, Collector, Description (brief), Habitat, Publication, Type Status, and Specimen Number (ID). Some databases may be browsed as well as searched, and all provide clear and concise information. [LXP]
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Learning Resources

Infrared Astronomy [Frames]
NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) provides the Infrared Astronomy Website as one of its outreach programs. Infrared Astronomy, or "the detection and study of the infrared radiation (heat energy) emitted from objects in the Universe," is described and placed in context in the sections Discovery of Infrared, What is Infrared, Infrared Astronomy, Background, and the Infrared Universe. For current information, see the News & Discoveries, Active/ Future Projects, and Activities sections; past and current projects supported by IPAC are featured in the Infrared Gallery. The site targets a broad audience and is geared towards many learning levels. [JJS]
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Molecular Biology Notebook Online
The UK Bioscience Network hosts this online textbook on Molecular Biology. Full access is available (with free registration) to the textbook, which is designed to provide "a complete framework for the teaching and learning of Molecular Biology, from early secondary school (through) University." The site has two main learning sections: The Beginner's Guide to Molecular Biology and Dr. Chrono's School (advanced level). Each subsection is organized in a logical manner, with detailed text, color figures, tables, references, and hyperlinks to additional information. Educators and students alike will also benefit from the collection of links in the World Wide Resource Center (updated monthly) and awareness of upcoming events in Posters and Conferences. [LXP]
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Build It & Bust It [Java]
Build It & Bust It, a ThinkQuest site created by students, is a learning game through which users may build a two dimensional structure, such as a bridge, and then test the structure by applying simulated loads. Users may post their designs and view other designs, creating an interactive learning environment. The Inform Yourself link contains two tutorials. The Quick Start outlines steps for building, testing, or viewing the structure using the applets (Java) at the site. For a more thorough explanation on statics concepts before building, The Full Walkthrough is a great tutorial. Build It & Bust It is an excellent learning resource for undergraduate courses in statics or physics because of its possibilities as a tool for design projects. [JJS]
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Coop BIODIDAC [.pdf]
BIODIDAC (described in the May 30, 1997 Scout Report) is a bank of digital resources for teaching biology, based at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Recently, Coop BIODIDAC, a repository of teaching resources available just to coop members, has become freely available to the public (registration required) in the form of datasets, problem sets, and presentations. Provided in English or French, these resources (.pdf format) cover a broad array of topics, including conservation biology, biostatistics, and ecology. While free, access to Coop BIODIDAC is contributor-based, meaning that "a registered member that contributes sufficient material (of sufficient quality) to a topic, gains access to all material on that topic." Further information and sample materials are available at the Website. [LXP]
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General Interest

Bioreactor Landfill Demonstration Project
Managed by the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, this Website provides information on the Bioreactor Landfill Demonstration Project. The slow decomposition rates in current municipal landfills have prompted research in bioreactor landfills, which operate under the "wet cell" theory where moisture is added to enhance degradation. The Research section contains a plethora of material, including the Bioreactor Presentation, which consists of 60 slides outlining the project and solid waste issues, and A Proposed Bioreactor Landfill Demonstration Project, which is the proposal that started the project. The proposal is a great source of background information about bioreactor landfills. Though not all of the topics listed on the site have active links, the information available is worthwhile. [JJS]
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6 Billion Human Beings [Shockwave]
Developed as an online exhibit at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France, this fascinating Website provides a wonderful introduction to human population growth, using interactive (Shockwave) media to engage the viewer in a learning game. Available in English or French, 6 Billion Human Beings leads visitors through interesting facts (daily statistics on fertility rates, death rates, etc.) and uses their interactive answers (e.g., age) to generate statistics on certain population dynamics (e.g., birth rate). Also provided are numerous statistics for different global populations and thought-provoking questions about the future. This is an excellent site and could serve well as a teaching tool for an undergraduate course in population dynamics or introductory statistics. [LXP]
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Earth Science Corps (ESC)
The Earth Science Corps (ESC) is a program through which volunteers may participate in US Geological Survey (USGS) projects. Currently, the USGS has an ongoing map annotation project, whereby volunteers may collect new information for use in the National Mapping Program. The ESC homepage contains an ESC Volunteer Guide explaining the program and the Assigned Quadrangles Map (which we had trouble accessing from a Mac), showing the areas already assigned to volunteers. The USGS does not require an extensive background in mapping for this particular program, and information on map annotation guidelines may be found in the ESC Volunteer Guide. [JJS]
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The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Nutrients and Pesticides -- USGS [.pdf]
The Quality of Our Nation's Waters: Nutrients and Pesticides is the first report in a series of non-technical publications from the US Geological Survey. Based on findings of the NAWQA (National Water Quality Assessment Program), this first report "presents insights on nutrients and pesticides in water and on pesticides in bed sediment and fish tissue." Subsequent reports will cover other water-quality topics including arsenic, radon, other trace elements, and industrial chemicals, as well as chemical and physical effects on aquatic communities. Targeting resource managers, regulators, and policy makers, the report (.pdf format) provides a general overview of findings on nutrients and pesticides, in addition to technical discussions of "the sources, distributions, and potential effects of these chemicals." [LXP]
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Current Awareness
(For links to additional current awareness on tables of contents, abstracts, preprints, new books, data, conferences, etc., visit the The Scout Report for Science & Engineering Current Awareness Metapage:

"The Conundrum of Computer Recycling"
Dragnet: Nonprofit Computer Recyclers
If you have ever wondered what happens to obsolete computers, check out these current awareness Websites. The disposal of computers is classified as hazardous waste, which has become an environmental concern as the number of obsolete computers rises. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the State of Massachusetts have banned computer equipment from landfills. At the first site, "The Conundrum of Computer Recycling," written by Leah Jung for the May 1999 issue of Resource Recycling Magazine, describes the growing problem of what to do with obsolete computers. A link is also provided to the EPA-sponsored San Jose Pilot project, which was launched "to determine the feasibility of collecting equipment at retail stores, identify potential barriers for using industry partnerships, and determine the economics for collecting consumer equipment." Dragnet: Nonprofit Computer Recyclers is an EPA-licensed computer recycling organization that reuses all acceptable components and systems or recycles damaged or unusable components. Rebuilt computer systems are given to "persons with disabilities and persons living in disadvantaged situations." [JJS]
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Climate Monitor Online
The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UK) provides this interesting monthly newsletter on climate around the globe. Originally published in print, Climate Monitor is now exclusively available online. At the site, users may browse the Monthly weather summaries for various global regions (since November 1998), Climate data and visualization datasets (includes downloadable datasets from the Climatic Research Unit), and Tiempo Newswatch (a climate current affairs page), or they may link to other sites with current weather and climate events. [LXP]
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New Publications

Core Issues
Core Issues, the Uranium Institute's magazine on nuclear energy and energy issues, has converted from a printed to a Web-based publication. The latest issue, January-May 1999, is the first issue to go online. Besides Features and a Focus article, Core Issues contains news briefs about the nuclear energy industry and conference announcements that are updated periodically. [JJS]

"Meeting the Challenges of Continental Pollutant Pathways" -- EMAN
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (discussed in the February 4, 1998 Scout Report for Science & Engineering) has released this interesting case study on mercury entitled "Meeting the Challenges of Continental Pollutant Pathways." The eight sections of the report cover human health, ecosystem science, product pathways for mercury, policy and science issues, and recommendations, in addition to introductory and reference materials. The report includes text, numerous figures, tables, and several recommended links. [LXP]

"The Influence of Boundary Heterogeneity in Experimental Models of Mantle Convection" [.pdf]
Published in the July 1, 1999 issue of the Geophysical Research Letters, "The Influence of Boundary Heterogeneity in Experimental Models of Mantle Convection" (.pdf) was written by A. Namiki and K. Kurita of the University of Tokyo. This article discusses how the topography on the lower boundary of the D" layer can induce plumes and how topography controls convection patterns above a critical height based on recent observations of lateral variations in the thickness of the D" layer. According to the authors's results, these thickness variations in the D" layer may contribute to the generation of a hot plume. [JJS]

"15 Most Endangered Wildlands: 1999" -- TWS [.pdf]
The Wilderness Society (TWS) has just released the 1999 report (.pdf format) listing the "15 Most Endangered Wildlands." The report "reveals environmental threats are on the rise across our nation's precious wild lands," and concludes that "in many instances, misinterpreted laws, and the lack of legal environmental protections are significantly contributing to the demise of these lands." The 1999 list includes Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, AK; Cascade Crest, WA; Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest, AK; The Everglades, FL; Grand Canyon National Park, AZ; Greater Yellowstone, WY, MT, ID; Klamath Basin, CA/OR border; Maine's North Woods, ME; Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests, WY/CO border; The Mojave National Preserve, CA; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, GA/FL border; Owyhee Canyonlands, ID; Sierra Nevada Old-Growth Forest, CA; The Sonoran Desert, AZ; and Utah Wilderness, UT. [LXP]

Ecological Status and Trends of the Upper Mississippi River System 1998 [.pdf]
The US Geological Survey's Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) and the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center produced this report, containing "information about the ecological condition of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS)," especially during the late 1980s. Comprised of sixteen chapters and a glossary, the report (.pdf format) covers "Floodplain River Ecology and the Concept of River Ecological Health," "Important Milestones in the Human and Ecological History of the Upper Mississippi River System," "River Geomorphology and Floodplain Habitats," "Hydrology, Water and Sediment Quality," and the river system's flora and fauna, from "Submersed Aquatic Vegetation" through "Birds." Two case studies ("The Illinois River," and "The Flood of 1993") round out the report. [LXP]

"Shear Strength of Gravel and Rockfill Measured in Triaxial and Prismatic Wedge Shear Tests"
Written by a collaborating team of civil engineering professors and a project engineer from Turkey, this paper compares the peak strength measured in prismatic wedge shear tests (priswests) to that measured in drained triaxial tests. The priswest, a relatively new field test for studying the shear strength of gravel and rockfill materials, takes less time than a triaxial test and, unlike the triaxial, can be performed on-site. The accuracy of the priswest is a main concern of researchers, and this paper outlines experiments performed to compare the results of both testing techniques. The authors found that the "agreement between the results of the two types of test is remarkable, the minor differences being generally explicable by the fact that the priswest is more nearly a plane strain type of test." [JJS]

"Anaerobic Biodegradation of Organic Chemicals in Groundwater" -- SRC
Report [.pdf] and Database [.zip]
The "Anaerobic Biodegradation of Organic Chemicals in Groundwater" report and database are available at this site. The report (.pdf format), by Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC), reviews anaerobic groundwater biodegradation literature "for 44 common organic chemicals (including BTEX, chlorinated aliphatic compounds, phenolic compounds, common freons, ketones, organic acids, and polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons)" and provides biodegradation rate constants based on these studies. The database, which may be downloaded (.zip format), contains information about the site, including location and type, sampling protocol and analysis, type of study, compound status, "pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen concentrations, redox conditions, initial and final concentrations of the compound, a published or calculated rate constant, length of the study, lag period, control results, general comments, and an abbreviated reference." [LXP]

Migratory Bird Population Status Reports -- USFWS
"Mourning Dove Breeding Population Status: 1999" [.pdf]
"American Woodcock Harvest and Breeding Population Status: 1999" [.pdf]
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)'s Office of Migratory Bird Management recently released these migratory bird population status reports for mourning doves and woodcock in 1999. Both reports are presented in scientific format (introduction, methods, results, and discussion) and include the full text and figures. [LXP]

"The Science of Climate Change: Global and US Perspectives" [.pdf]
The Pew Center for Global Climate Change has posted this report entitled "The Science of Climate Change: Global and US Perspectives," by Tom Wigley of the National Center For Atmospheric Research. The report discusses historical climate patterns, current climate changes, and predictions for the future (including the ability to detect significant changes). Introductory sections of the report may be viewed on-site, or the full document may be downloaded (.pdf format). [LXP]
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Job Openings in Science and Technology from the Chronicle of Higher Education
Although the Chronicle of Higher Education charges a fee to access the current week's job listings, extensive postings for the previous week are freely available. [LXP]
Indexes of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, and other science jobs are provided by Started by a group of Ph.D. students, has a large database of non-profit employers, namely universities, research foundations, and governmental agencies. also has listings in industry. Additional options at include Submit your Resume, Recommend an Employer, and Register for Email Alerts. [JJS]

Positions in Weed Science (WeedJobs)
Provided by Natural Resources Canada, the WeedJobs pages list several dozen permanent, short term, postdoctoral, graduate student, and summer positions in weed science. The site details Employer, Location, Salary, Description of Duties, Qualifications, and Application and Contact materials for each job posting. Note that "invitations for job swaps" are also posted. [LXP]

C&I Job Database [Frames]
The Chemistry & Industry Magazine provides the C&I Job Database (Frames), which is a searchable database of jobs in chemistry fields such as Organic Chemistry, Polymers and Materials, Environment, and Quality/ Regulatory Compliance. Users also have the option of receiving email job alerts of new jobs fitting their specifications. [JJS]
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AAAS Science and Engineering Fellowship Programs
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) offers seven fellowship programs for scientists and engineers interested in public policy issues. The seven programs are as follows: Congressional Fellowships, Revelle Fellowship in Global Stewardship, Diplomacy Fellowships, Risk Policy Fellowships, Technology Policy Fellowships, Defense Policy Fellowships, and Environmental Fellowships. Post-doctoral to mid-career professionals in physical, biological, or social sciences or any field of engineering are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applying for all programs is January 15, 2000. [JJS]

Biotic Index Based on Plankton Data, for Open Waters of the Great Lakes -- EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Great Lakes National Program Office has recently announced funding for "the development and calibration of a multi metric index applicable to the open water plankton communities of the Great Lakes. The index should include, as a minimum, metrics assessing community structure (e.g., taxa richness and relative abundance), taxonomic composition (e.g., sensitivity of taxa, presence of exotic species) and biological processes (e.g., functional groups)." Guidelines and required qualifications are detailed at the site; the deadline for receipt of proposals is August 9, 1999. [LXP]

Wildlife Links
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in cooperation with the US Golf Association, requests preproposals "for projects that address wildlife conservation needs on golf courses. Areas of interest include: analysis of management and design techniques for increasing biodiversity on golf courses; research to determine if certain habitat characteristics result in wildlife corridors or barriers on golf courses; preparation of management guidelines for specific species or species suites; programs to monitor the success of wildlife habitat conservation programs on golf courses; and the effects of golfer and maintenance activities on wildlife." Preproposals are due Friday, July 16, 1999. Solicited full proposals will be due September 14, 1999. [LXP]
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Fifth International Conference on Organic Nonlinear Optics
The Fifth International Conference on Organic Nonlinear Optics (ICONO'5) will be held March 12-16, 2000, in Davos, Switzerland. ICONO'5 "will be devoted to the international exchange of information and cooperation among researchers in academia, government laboratories, and industries, and to stimulate growth in the field of organic nonlinear optics." Discussions will cover all aspects of nonlinear optics, such as new phenomena, novel optoelectronic devices, and advanced organic materials. Abstracts (100 words) are due by September 30, 1999, and extended abstracts (maximum two pages) are due November 15, 1999. [JJS]

Second International Conference of Applications of Machine Learning to Ecological Modeling
The Second International Conference of Applications of Machine Learning to Ecological Modeling will be held in Adelaide, Australia, from November 27 to December 1, 2000. The conference will focus on "recent research on machine learning such as artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, and its application to ecological modeling," to facilitate interdisciplinary research and communication among ecosystem managers, ecological modelers, and machine learning professionals. The deadline for submitted papers is November 30, 1999. The registration form (.pdf format) is provided, in addition to some preliminary conference details. [LXP]

Circumpolar Ecosystems 4
Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC)
The Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC) has announced the fourth conference on Circumpolar Ecosystems and an outdoor workshop focused on "ecological aspects of winter-dominated systems." The conference and workshop will be held in Churchill, Manitoba, during the dead of the arctic winter: February 16-21, 2000. Interested participants should contact the CNSC (address at Webpage) at "the earliest possible convenience." [LXP]
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New Data

Threatened Plants of the World
Following publication of the book in 1997, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants is finally available as a searchable database on the Web. This impressive database currently contains data on "more than 140,000 plant names, linked to over 190,000 distribution areas ... and over 19,000 data sources." On-site data include scientific and common names, synonyms, global threat status (following the original IUCN threat categories), distribution to local (country or BRU) level, threat status at this level, and CITES listing. For anyone interested in plant conservation at a global level, this is an excellent resource. [LXP]
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Athena: Mineralogy [Frames]
The University of Geneva maintains this metasite for mineralogy databases. Twelve databases are found at Athena: Mineralogy and are broken into the following topics: alphabetical list, systematic list, elements, sulfides, halides, oxides, carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, silicates, organic minerals, and varieties, synonyms, etc. The site is rounded out with a mineral search and mineral pictures (Frames). The databases are complete with rare and common minerals, which makes this a must-visit for anyone interested in mineralogy. [JJS]
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Low Cloud Type over the Global Ocean -- JISAO [netCDF, binary, ascii]
This cloud type dataset has been provided by the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), a joint institute of the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The dataset covers "daytime-only seasonal climatologies of individual low cloud types over the ocean" and was constructed by climatologist Joel Norris for the period 1954-1992, using synoptic surface ship observations. Data are available in three formats: netCDF (COARDS convention), plain binary (4-byte floating point; no FORTRAN-style records), or ascii. [LXP]
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In The News

The Removal of the Edwards Dam: Renewed Debates
1. Americas Dam Bust for the Environment
2. West Eyes Dam's Demise
3. Dam's Removal Reshapes Debate
4. American Rivers Organization
5. The Natural Resources Council of Maine
6. Trout Unlimited: Conservation Watch
7. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Office of Hydropower Licensing [.pdf]
8. United States Committee on Large Dams
On July 1, 1999, the destruction of the Edwards Dam in Maine began, marking the first case of an order to remove a hydroelectric dam against the owner's wishes. Dams were constructed to provide mechanical power, and later electrical power, mainly for saw, grist, and textile mills. These mills were a substantial asset to the economy by providing jobs, but as the mills closed, the economic necessity of dams diminished. Ecologists have been identifying the environmental benefits fish and wildlife receive when rivers are restored by removing dams. The Edwards River is in the process of being restored, but the restoration of another, much larger river, the Snake River in Oregon, continues to be a source of debate. Ecologists and biologists believe restoring the Snake River will help the endangered wild salmon regain their numbers. Agricultural and industrial users of the Snake River argue that the dam still provides substantial economic benefits. The eight resources listed above for this In the News topic provide current information on the Edwards dam removal, the Snake River debates, and general information on dams.

The first news release (1), from BBC News, provides a brief account of the Edwards Dam removal, capturing reactions to the start of the removal process. The subsequent news releases are from News (2) and The Oregonian (3) and discuss the Edwards Dam removal and the possible impact it may have on the debate over removal of the Snake River dams. American Rivers (4), a river-conservation organization, provides articles and links advocating the removal of dams, with updates on the Edwards River. An online report detailing the history, the debate, and the decision to remove Edwards Dam may be accessed through The Natural Resources Council of Maine (5) Website by clicking on the A River Reborn link at the top of the page. To learn more about concerns over fish and wildlife due to dams, Trout Unlimited (6) provides press releases and links to other sites of interest. The Office of Hydropower Licensing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Website (7) contains government information on dams, such as Origins of Hydroelectric Regulation, Hydroelectric Projects Exempted From Licensing Requirements (.pdf), and the Division of Dam Safety and Inspections Operating Manual (.pdf), among other documents. The last site (8) is provided by the US Committee on Large Dams (USCOLD), a "nation-wide professional organization dedicated to advancing the technology of dam engineering, construction, operation, maintenance and dam safety." The US Committee on Large Dams Website provides general information advocating dams, as well as examples of specific dams that provide "Benefits to Society" across the US. [JJS]
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